Philippians Extras: Suffering

In session 3 of A Study of Philippians, students learn that Paul had a single passion in life and death: “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). Despite great suffering, Paul had one focus in mind—the honor and glory of Christ and to walk in a manner worthy of him.

John Piper has an excellent chapter in his book Don’t Waste Your Life (Crossway Books, 2007) that focuses on this called “Magnifying Christ Through Pain and Death.”

“Daily Christian living is daily Christian dying. The dying I have in mind is the dying of comfort and security and reputation and health and family and friends and wealth and homeland. These may be taken from us at any time in the path of Christ-exalting obedience. ING_42323_11638_grunge

“To die daily the way Paul did, and to take up our cross daily the way Jesus commanded, is to embrace this life of loss for Christ’s sake and count it gain.

“In other words, the way we honor Christ in death is to treasure Jesus above the gift of life, and the way we honor Christ in life is to treasure Jesus above life’s gifts.”

You may read chapter 4 from Don’t Waste Your Life here, and the entire book is available on Desiring God’s website here.

What were your students’ reactions? 

Click here for more resources for A Study of Philippians.


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